Where would Justin Timberlake be today if Michael Jackson hadn’t passed on Justified

In a new interview on the Revolt TV podcast Drink Champs, producer Pharrell Williams reminisced with N.O.R.E & DJ EFN about his storied career, including their “Superthug” collaboration and being rejected by both Prince and Michael Jackson. 

“Michael turned us down too,” Pharrell shared, after telling the podcast hosts how Prince passed on one of his tracks. 

N.O.R.E. stepped in to share his memory of a call he had with Pharrell at the time. “You hit me and you said, ‘Yo I just sent Michael Jackson some beats,’” he recalled.

“John McClain was his manager at the time,” Pharrell continued. “We sent him pretty much all the stuff y’all are hearing on the Justified album. That’s all the Michael stuff.” 

Justified is now best known as Justin Timberlake’s debut 2002 album. But according the Neptunes producer, all but one song was originally created for the King of Pop. 

“All but one song, they were all written for Michael,” he said. 

But Jackson wasn’t interested. Instead, he wanted something more like Pharrell’s iconic 1998 track with N.O.R.E.

“John McClain was like, 'Man Michael don’t want that shit,’” Pharrell remembered. “‘He want that shit you’re giving Noreaga….he want that ‘Superthug.’”

Elsewhere in the interview, Pharrell opened up about his feelings on the Drake vs. Pusha T beef. 

Check out the entire interview below. 

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